Carved/skidded turn and edging

Look at this

– Last Updated: Sep-04-08 11:11 AM EST –

Look at the "Carved Turns" section of this web site for an illustration.

Choose "Paddling Basics" from the menu at the right and then choose "Carved turns".

Note that this is regarding sea kayaks (other boats might behave diffently).

Note that the kayak has to have enough forward momentum to "carve" a turn. (The effect may not be noticible at slow speeds.)

Typically, a turn in the desired direction is started with a sweep stroke while edging the boat low side to the stroke.


One of the things that the edging (in a sea kayak) does is increase the "rocker" of the effective keel. Edging on one particular side makes turns in both directions easier. (The boat doesn't have to be moving forward for this effect to be observed.)

Another thing the edging (in many sea kayaks) does is cause the boat to tend to veer to the high side. The boat has to be moving for this effect to be observed. It's this "veering" that "carving" refers to. It's easy to demonstrate this effect (in many sea kayaks) on flat/calm water with no wind. In rough water, wind, etc, this veering is easly overwhelmed.

This veering effect (as Flatpick seems to say) may not matter much. Note that all that I am doing here is trying to explain what people are referring to when they talk about "carving". (I wonder if the term was adopted from surfing.) I am not recommending it nor am I saying that it is important.


It's important not to get hung up on "one way" of doing stuff. There is a lot of variation in what works.


– Last Updated: Sep-04-08 11:03 AM EST –

"The "Ya think" thing is obnoxious."

it is? sorry, but you still have it wrong.

Maybe, but being obnoxious doesn't help you make your point. You also look like a bully to other people (I personally don't care).

What's really bizarre is that you went all "internet nazi" because of -one- word in what I said that wasn't really correct. Seems like a pretty trivial thing to go off the rails about.

Sure hope you don't behave this way towards people who pay you.

“Skidded” is a term almost never used

– Last Updated: Sep-04-08 12:19 PM EST –

in slalom racing circles, and seldom used in whitewater circles, at least in the Southeast. When I turn on my inside edge, I am carving. When I turn on my outside edge, I am actually carving as well, but that is how my boats are designed. I find skidding, that is, sliding sideways across the water surface, to be a usually useless or counterproductive action. So, I'm not sure what useful classification you hope to achieve in this thread.

I note that some are giving an example of skidding as spinning a boat on its axis. This is not a typical use of the term. We just say that we are spinning the boat.

Here is a link to Olympic slalom footage, where you can see people turning on the inside edge, the outside edge, and occasionally doing a pivot turn by deeply dousing the stern and rotating on the submerged stern to pivot. Note that these boats do NOT turn on their seam lines. They have prominent edges and rails, crucial to making quick turns while maintaining as much momentum as possible.

That’s all good, but regarding slalom
boats, actually their chines and sides are designed specifically for carving, that is, maintaining momentum in the axis of the boat while avoiding or reducing side slippage. A slalom paddler can carve on the inside or outside edge, but the outside edge is used more when the paddler wants to turn more abruptly.

Skid as a term . . .
I believe the first place I heard it for sea kayaking was in one of the old Nigel Foster videos. May just be a teaching term NF came up with that has kept on going.

My $.0002
The title of the thread had me wondering if I’d logged onto by mistake :slight_smile:

It is used occasionally by whitewater
instructors and paddlers. It’s just that skidding is not usually something you want to do, whether you are turning on an inside edge or an outside edge. I have skidded into eddies so hard that I’ve slammed into a rock wall, but it’s the wrong way to do it. The goal is to read the eddy and enter it so that you carve up to where you want to come to rest, or carve up into the upstream slalom gate you have to pass through and exit.

Your funny.
Stuck in a deep rut but funny anyways.

'net nazi
DOOOOODE… that’s “you’re funny”

NOT “your funny”

where’d you larn ta spel?



Skidding – definition
Ok, maybe that’s not the best term – the entire boat does not skid – it’s more like a fishtail. IAC, it’s a term many coaches use.

More precisely, it means the bow is relatively stationary side-to-side, which the stern slides sideways. You can see that in the wake – a wide, triangular smear with the tip of the triangle toward the bow and the base at the stern.

This is what makes a “skidded” turn so sharp and effective – the boat pivots dramatically around the bow, or at least a point well forward of the cockpit.

You can enhance such a turn by (a) planting a paddle somewhat forward on the inside – a bow rudder; (b) leaning forward to weight the bow and make it even more stationary (and also unweight the stern to allow it to slide even more).

Such a turn is especially effective when turning upwind, as it prevents the wind from taking the bow in the opposite direction.